— If Western North Carolina was so big on Unionism, why weren’t its legislators?
— 18th century “stone” dollhouse from defunct Old Salem Toy Museum blows away auction estimate.
— I hadn’t realized that Pearl Fryar, the topiary wizard (and movie star) of Bishopville, S.C., had such extensive roots in Clinton and Durham. And he’s appearing Jan. 29 in Greenville.
— “Site of the nation’s first student lunch counter sit-ins”: Baltimore?
— Making the case for “a Rutherford Platt Hayes Day in Asheville.”
— J.B. Rhine, father of the “decline effect”?
More phrase-frequency charts from Google Books Ngram Reader:
— Chapel Hill vs. Raleigh and Durham
— Variety Vacationland. Tourism promotion not a priority during World War II?
— Billy Graham vs. Jim Bakker. No contest, even during the glory run of PTL.
— North Carolina vs. South Carolina. South Carolina’s spike in the early 1700s roughly coincides with its becoming a royal colony.
— muscadine wine. After 150 years out of favor — longer even than big band music! — still waiting for a comeback.
— Death noted: actress Patricia Neal, who played opposite Andy Griffith in the prescient and underrated “A Face in the Crowd” and opposite Gary Cooper in “Bright Leaf,” which inspired “Bright Leaves,” Ross McElwee’s bittersweet documentary on tobacco.
— A big day for challenging long-accepted Civil War numbers: the death toll for North Carolina troops and the percentage of Confederates who owned slaves.
— Baseball Hall of Fame acknowledges error in plaque discovered by Durham blogger.
— “Junebug” screenwriter relishes the serendipity of Winston-Salem’s annual Bulky Item Collection day.
— Just when you thought Walter Dellinger couldn’t be any more ubiquitous….
“One hundred and eight convicts escaped from North Carolina prisons and prison camps last month. Each day into the office of the Durham Herald-Sun ticked A. P. dispatches from Raleigh naming the runaways….
“Telegraph Editor John R. Barry bit his pencil for a new headline to put over such repetitious news…. ‘TODAY’S ESCAPES’ [soon became] one of the most familiar standing heads in the Herald-Sun. Under it last week was chronicled the break of 13 prisoners in three consecutive days.”
— From Time magazine, Aug. 20, 1934
“The first documented use of the name Hayti in Durham is found in a deed of 1877 in which a lot was sold ‘near the town of Durham in the settlement of colored people in the South East end of the corporation of said town known as of Hayti.’
“The origin of the name in this context is a mystery. Conjecture has attributed it to whites as a name for any black settlement, and to blacks as an expression of their admiration of and hope of emulating the independent island nation.
“The use of the term as a convention of mapmakers for any predominantly black community was current as early as 1867. A map of New Bern and vicinity in that year identified the black settlement across the Trent River from the town proper as Hayti, even though it had a name, James City.”
— From “Durham County: A History of Durham County, North Carolina” (1990) by Jean Bradley Anderson